According to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, 40,000 cardiac arrests happen each year here in Canada. Less than 5% of people survive cardiac arrests. That means that each year, 38,000 Canadians die from this horrible event. There is a way that many of these lives can be saved. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. If someone suddenly collapses after their heart stops beating, their chances of survival increase DRAMATICALLY if CPR is administered immediately.
The problem is, according to the Canadian Red Cross, few Canadians know how to administer CPR. Less than 15% of Canadians would be able to save someone dying of cardiac arrest. That really should scare you. It certainly terrifies me. 70% of cardiac arrests happen at home. Not in public. That is another horrifying number. When your heart stops, being at home is the worst place for that to happen. Being in public, like in a mall, increases the chance of survival because there are likely some witnesses that may be able to administer CPR. Unfortunately, too few people do know how to administer the life-saving treatment, and I do have a plan that can change that.
Mandatory yearly CPR training for all students in all schools between grades 7-12. If students learn CPR once every year for six years, they are very unlikely to forget the skill of saving a life. If every student in this country over the age of 12 knew how to administer CPR, the survival rate of cardiac arrest would be much, much higher. Knowledge is power, and forcing schools to teach students (and not just in gym classes either, EVERY student needs to learn CPR, not just those students who take Physical Education classes) this lifesaving technique will make our society healthier.
The Ministry of Education should absolutely change the curriculum to include CPR training for all students between grades 7-12. The government has the money to pay teachers high wages, they certainly have the money to provide schools with the materials and tools necessary to train CPR to students. COUNTLESS lives can be saved if this policy is implemented. In many US states, students don’t even receive their high school diplomas unless they are CPR-trained.
Also, I strongly believe that CPR training courses offered by colleges and businesses should be free. No person should have to pay money to receive training that can save lives. Furthermore, the government should require CPR courses to train people to recognizes the symptoms of all heart-related illnesses. For example, tell the people attending the course the symptoms of a heart attack (pain in chest, left arm, jaw, etc.) Again, this knowledge will end up saving countless lives. People need to have access to training. Students should be forced to learn this training. There is no thing more precious in life than life itself. If life can be saved, why are students not being taught how to save lives?